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Growing Green International Magazine: Interview with Editor Tony Martin (vegan)

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Tony Martin is the editor of “Growing Green International,” a magazine published twice a year by the British educational charity Vegan Organic Network. Established in 1996, Vegan Organic Network strives for food to be grown the “veganic” way, or vegan and organic. “Veganic gardening is growing without any pesticides or without any animal input such as manures, blood, bone, fish meal, etc.”

Tony Martin has been leading a compassionate vegan lifestyle for more than 35 years. “There are various benefits of avoiding animal products. For instance, you won’t have heard of ‘mad carrot disease,’ but you’ve certainly heard of mad cow disease, chickenpox, and other diseases, where bacteria/viruses get mutated and take host in humans – so there’s that risk. There’s also the risk of animal manures containing large amounts of bacteria, which can cause salmonella, for instance, if salads, etc. aren’t cleaned properly. And it’s not just the fact that it’s the suffering of the animals that goes in there, but a lot of these animals are treated regularly with antibiotics and other nasties, which will then end up in the food chain.”

There are many safer plant-based methods to fertilize crops, such as vegan composting. “And grass clippings are high in nitrogen, which is one of the important resources that we need for vegan compost. Insects and worms in the garden can be very beneficial to growing. In nature, there is a balance. ‘No-dig’ appeals to vegans because you’re not harming animals. From a nutritional point of view, some of the easiest things to grow are things like spinach, peas, etc.”

Supreme Master Ching Hai frequently encourages growing vegan produce, such as in the following lecture, given in 2008 in France. “Okay, so now, you try to plant those vegetables that bear fruits, like beans, pumpkins and stuff, cucumbers, those things that bear fruit and simple, easy. So it becomes a habit. And then you will eat your own produce, and it’s also good for the time being because we’re short of food everywhere. In case something happens, you will have sufficient food for yourself.”

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